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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Default Half-Elf Suggestion

    Now, I'm semi-new to both D&D and these forums, so, forgive me if I say something completely ridiculous, or repeat something that's already been said. Constructive criticism is welcome though, and if you like my idea, feel free to speak up.

    That said,

    It seems to me that half-elves really got the short end of the racial ability stick, while humans get skill points and a feat, and elves get a four hour trance, concealed door senses, and free weapon proficiencies.
    Half-elves get...none of that.

    My proposal:

    Half-elves gain 1 1/2 skill points at first level, and half a skill point every level thereafter, as well as a six hour half-sleep/half-trance rest time.

    Again, forgive me if this is completely ridiculous or has already been suggested.

    Edit:This is for 3.5, I've never played 4.
    Last edited by Changeling Soul; 2009-05-04 at 04:23 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tackyhillbillu View Post
    George Foreman is a Warlock. He seems to be cooking, but he actually isn't.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    London, UK

    Default Re: Half-Elf Suggestion

    Half-elves do indeed get something of a short end of the stick. I'm not keen on "half skill-points", however. Possibly "2 bonus skill points at level 1 and 1 bonus skill point at every odd-numbered level thereafter" would work better. The same bonus could also be given to the also-underpowered half-orc if we like, although they'd still be weak even after that.

    As for the six-hour sleeping pattern, I don't think the hours slept really makes any difference. Could be useful, but really not vital.
    Last edited by paddyfool; 2009-05-04 at 04:37 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: Half-Elf Suggestion

    You can just give halfelves and halforcs the full +4 skill points at 1st level, +1 skill point per level. It really won't break the game.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Default Re: Half-Elf Suggestion

    The neat thing about (re)designing human subraces and part-humans is that if you give one a human's skill points, that essentially turns being one into a first-level-only feat for humans. So you just have to balance the benefit of the race against similar feats. And if you want to allow for similar hybrids with other races, you just need to let them take the feat, too.

    In this case, I would suggest something like:

    Spoiler
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    Elven Blood [Racial]

    Prerequisite
    Non-elven.

    Special
    Can only be taken at first level.

    Benefit
    You are roughly half elven, as well as half something else somewhat (but not terribly) dissimilar from elves.

    You gain low-light vision and a +1 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks. You gain immunity to sleep spells and similar magical effects, and a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against enchantment spells or effects.

    For all effects related to race, you are considered to be an elf in addition to your other race.

    (It suffers from the same problem as a lot of templates, in that it's additive, so that e.g. a half-elf/half-gnome has oddly keen hearing. But they're not big bonuses, so it's nowhere near as absurd as the hill giant dire wearboar that gets a massive increase to strength because dire boars are stronger than humans.)

    Edit: Half-orcs need to either get a human's bonus skill points or lose their Int penalty to even get in between how many skill points a human gets and how many an orc gets. Being unusually skilled is a distinctive human trait, and half-orcs ought to inherit some of that from their human ancestry instead of just normal Wisdom and a lack of light blindness.
    Last edited by Devils_Advocate; 2009-05-05 at 01:14 AM.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Al-Ashrad's Avatar

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    Nov 2005
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    Default Re: Half-Elf Suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by Devils_Advocate View Post
    The neat thing about (re)designing human subraces and part-humans is that if you give one a human's skill points, that essentially turns being one into a first-level-only feat for humans. So you just have to balance the benefit of the race against similar feats. And if you want to allow for similar hybrids with other races, you just need to let them take the feat, too.

    In this case, I would suggest something like:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Elven Blood [Racial]

    Prerequisite
    Non-elven.

    Special
    Can only be taken at first level.

    Benefit
    You are roughly half elven, as well as half something else somewhat (but not terribly) dissimilar from elves.

    You gain low-light vision and a +1 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks. You gain immunity to sleep spells and similar magical effects, and a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against enchantment spells or effects.

    For all effects related to race, you are considered to be an elf in addition to your other race.

    (It suffers from the same problem as a lot of templates, in that it's additive, so that e.g. a half-elf/half-gnome has oddly keen hearing. But they're not big bonuses, so it's nowhere near as absurd as the hill giant dire wearboar that gets a massive increase to strength because dire boars are stronger than humans.)

    Edit: Half-orcs need to either get a human's bonus skill points or lose their Int penalty to even get in between how many skill points a human gets and how many an orc gets. Being unusually skilled is a distinctive human trait, and half-orcs ought to inherit some of that from their human ancestry instead of just normal Wisdom and a lack of light blindness.

    Ok, so how is that feat going to change Half-elves? They already get all of that in 3.5 and no one wants to play them. Half-elves went from being one of the most popular races in 1st edition AD&D to probably the least popular in 3.x D&D. I gave them an extra feat at 1st level and still no one I knew wanted to play them.

    I had thought about making two separate "tracks" for Half-elves, giving them different extra bonuses based upon whether the Half-elf grew up in Human lands or in Elven lands. Something to possibly reflect the cultural differences where they lived.

    For example, if the Half-elf grew up in Human lands, they would get the four extra skill points at 1st level and get 1 extra skill point every level after. Similarly, if the Half-elf lived with Elves, they would get the Weapon Proficiency feats for the longsword, rapier, longbow, composite longbow, shortbow and composite shortbow. I don't know how this would change anything though.


    Regarding Half-orcs, they end up taking a hit to INT because they get a boost to STR. Obviously, in a combat-centered game, STR is going to be huge. As a result, they need a huge hit to take too, Yeah, the INT penalty blows. But, generally speaking, folks aren't playing Half-orcs to be the party's brain trust. Still, I see nothing wrong with giving Half-orcs the extra skill points: as was said before, it's not going to break the game.
    I am a:

    Spoiler
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    Chaotic Good Human Ranger (6th Level)
    Ability Scores:
    STR- 12
    DEX- 17
    CON- 14
    INT- 15
    WIS- 14
    CHA- 15

    What are you?



    "Public speaking is a lot like riding your bike: It's tiring, you get sweaty, and sooner or later you take an iron bar to the nuts."- The Onion

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    London, UK

    Default Re: Half-Elf Suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by Al-Ashrad View Post
    I had thought about making two separate "tracks" for Half-elves, giving them different extra bonuses based upon whether the Half-elf grew up in Human lands or in Elven lands. Something to possibly reflect the cultural differences where they lived.

    For example, if the Half-elf grew up in Human lands, they would get the four extra skill points at 1st level and get 1 extra skill point every level after. Similarly, if the Half-elf lived with Elves, they would get the Weapon Proficiency feats for the longsword, rapier, longbow, composite longbow, shortbow and composite shortbow. I don't know how this would change anything though.
    I like this idea. Something similar could be done for half-orcs, too.

    Raised by humans: +4 skill point, +1 skill point per level
    Raised by orcs: Um... no Chr penalty? It's one of the standard ways of improving the game balance of Half-orcs and Orcs. It makes the penalty a little hard to justify in human settings, however...

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Default Re: Half-Elf Suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by Al-Ashrad View Post
    Ok, so how is that feat going to change Half-elves?
    Giving a half elven and half human character the human's bonus skill points instead of the PHB half-elf's weird little bonuses to Diplomacy and Gather Information makes them much more flexible. The PHB half-elf is only better if you want to max one of those skills.

    They arguably become better scouts (the role, not necessarily the class) than any of the other PHB races, since they get all of a human's bonus skill points and some of an elf's perceptual bonuses.

    Of course, There's An Elven Subrace That Does That Better. (Gray elves, in this case.)

    Obviously, in a combat-centered game, STR is going to be huge.
    Wizards laugh at you.

    Strength is a stat you can use to kill things, but so is every stat except Constitution, which instead keeps things from killing you. (I gather that with incarnum maybe you can even get Con to power your offense, but not in a way that's especially effective.)

    Mental stat boosts are at least as good for murdering things as +Str. But of course, none of the other PHB races has a bonus to anything but Dex or Con, so maybe they realized that.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Banned
     
    Harperfan7's Avatar

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    Dec 2008
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    Cydonia
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    Default Re: Half-Elf Suggestion

    In my homebrew, half elves get to reroll any roll (except saving throws) once per day per level. This is because I imagine half elves to be very inspired highly motivated people who give things a lot of emotional effort.

    Also, before you say it's too powerful, test it. I have found that it's not.

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